Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Sea shells

I’ve always had a fascination for objects on the beach and my house has boxes and bowls overflowing with some of my finds. Beach rocks, abandoned shells, bits of seaweed, coral and driftwood all find their way home.

This shell, however, isn’t a beach find but from an image by Lisilk who takes some beautiful photos from her life in Bermuda and generously shares them in the reference library of WetCanvas.

I had recently finished a watercolour/ink piece of a speckled trout and wanted another piece to accompany it. A shrimp was suggested, but as I have an allergy to shellfish, shrimp aren’t something I usually buy. I hunted around for an alternative and came up with a beautiful image of a shrimp shell. I’m not sure what kind of shrimp this is/was, but I’ve not seen one quite like it before.

So here is my version of the shrimp in its current form. I’ve put down loose watercolour washes and am now adding detail in ink with a .25 tip Rapidograph pen. I’ll continue to build detail and add layers of colour where needed to bring realism to the piece.

There is something satisfying about the slow build of a drawing or painting that so appeals to me. I love the stages it goes through and the anticipation of seeing it develop from a blank page to a piece that can almost be lifted off the page.


Jennifer Rose said...

I'm not a huge shrimp fan, its has to be really hot for me to eat it or I feel like I'm eating rubber :p sister must be allergic to shell fish as she blew up like a balloon when we went to Nova Scotia and she was in the same house as all kinds of shellfish. was funny at the time but could have turned out bad :/

i really do like the way the colours look here. It is a very nice companion piece to your trout. does the pen have any problems going over the watercolour on the paper?

Jeanette said...

I always loved shellfish, especially shrimp and scallops, then got really really ill with it and it turned out I an now allergic to it. I think toxins build up in your body over time then wham. I'm sure the ocean pollution plays a role too. So now I stay well clear of it.

This is not the best image, I'll have a better one later. And no problem with the pen over the watercolour. I'm using a smooth paper - Lanaquarelle - so that helps and doesn't clog the pen with fibres.

Jennifer Rose said...

thanks for answering about the pen :)

Robyn said...

I'd swear that is a beautiful lobster tail, Jeanette - or do you call them crayfish? I don't think it's a shrimp at all - but it's a delicious watercolour. Of course I could be totally wrong about the tail. :)

Jeanette said...

It may well be a lobster Robyn, but looks far too tiny in reality to be that. A crayfish? Maybe. We don't have them here so I can't compare.

I just loved the colours and patterns in it. It could likely make a wonderful lino print too.